Every business has a reputation generated by its actions and how it interacts with consumers. As various parties across the internet perceive a brand, they create and reflect opinions that build momentum over time. This is reputation management.
Managing a corporate entity’s reputation is challenging, especially in digital marketing. As you chart out strategies focused on customer acquisition and retention, you want to cultivate authority and enhance credibility as a brand. This is called reputation management.
What is Reputation Management?
On a basic level, reputation management is the act of influencing the perception of stakeholders regarding a business and its products and activities. It keeps an eye out for when the brand comes up in conversation and seeks to encourage positive public discussions and respond to damaging threats.
In media, this is often seen as a manipulative activity corrupt organizations engage in to cover up poor behavior — and it’s certainly possible to abuse reputation management in that way. However, the overwhelming use of reputation management, especially regarding marketing strategy, is simply taking control of your brand’s online narrative.
In essence, reputation management occurs when a company speaks up for itself. That’s it.
It’s also worth clarifying that, at times, marketing teams only use the term “reputation management” to address the negative press. In those cases, reputation marketing is the term used for the positive push of a brand’s online presence. However, many simply use the term “reputation management” as a catch-all for managing both the positive and the negative.
What Does Reputation Management Look Like?
Reputation management may focus on one thing, but it can take many forms, including:
- Creating high-quality content to inform consumers and establish brand authority.
- Investing in optimization strategies that use SEO to enhance brand visibility and influence what content shows up first in SERPs (search engine results pages).
- Monitoring and managing social media activity to engage with consumers.
- Responding to negative feedback and reviews across various online forums and third-party websites.
These are just a few marketing tools that help control a brand’s promotional narrative. The digital marketing world has many options and techniques. Reputation management occurs when marketers utilize these tools to actively promote the positive and counteract negative narratives for their brands.
How to Manage Your Business’s Reputation
If you seek to improve your brand’s reputation online, start by researching on your own. What does your brand look like to an unbiased online observer? What messages come across more than others?
As you learn how others perceive your brand, seek to align any positive messaging with your current marketing objectives. Reinforce or supplement existing pro-brand messaging with new marketing content (digital PR, onsite content, etc.). Counteract negative feedback and messages with honest, informed responses.
You can do your own reputation management in-house to a certain degree. Work with a third-party option to ease the pressure if it feels intimidating. As you look for reputation management partners, avoid agencies that use black hat techniques like astroturfing, keyword stuffing, or link spamming.
Instead, look for reputable providers that can simplify the process. Simpay Digital offers reputation management as part of our new digital marketing services. This feature in our one-stop shop suite of Total Business Solutions empowers you to ethically and effectively take control of your brand’s online narrative.
Managing Your Reputation in Your Marketing
Digital marketing is more than just another channel to promote products and services. It allows you to cultivate credibility and trust with potential customers as well as a deep sense of loyalty to existing ones.
This comes from proper reputation management. When you proactively promote the positive and address the negative narratives for your brand’s online presence in the here and now, you make business simple in the future. A healthy brand reputation leads to a smoother, more effective marketing experience as you promote your business over time.